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Afcon 2021: Orlando Pirates’ Mhango on target as Malawi beat Comoros in friendly

12:38 EAT 01/01/2022
Gabadinho Mhango of Malawi and Orlando Pirates.
The Flames needed two first half goals to beat the Island nation, in readiness for the African competition scheduled for Cameroon

Malawi needed two first-half goals to beat Comoros 2-1 as they stepped up their preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Cameroon.

The Flames scored through Orlando Pirates striker Gabadinho Mhango and Khuda Muyaba while Faiz Matoour scored for the Island nation at the Abdallah al Faisal Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday.

It was Malawi, under Head of Technical Mario Marinica, who took the lead in the 25th minute when Mhango scored through a direct free-kick from the edge of the box.

Mhango, who had a great game, then turned the provider as he set up Muyaba to finish from a tight angle in the 39th minute.

Comoros reduced the deficit in the 43rd minute when Matoour, was fouled inside the box by John Banda and he stepped up to score from the penalty spot.

Malawi, who are scheduled to play another friendly against Mali on a day to be confirmed before they leave Saudi Arabia for Cameroon on January 5, have three uncapped players in their squad.

The three are goalkeeper Charles Thom, defender Lawrence Chaziya and midfielder Zebron Kalima.

In a previous interview, Marinica explained how he came up with his squad of 23 in the main squad for the tournament and five on reserves.

“It was not easy; it was very tough particularly because of the Covid-19 situation. We had quite a number of players who would have made it in the 28-man squad but unfortunately, Covid has ruled them out as they did not have a chance to be seen,” Marinica told the Malawi FA website.

“But also, it was very difficult for some players as we did not have a chance to play friendly matches before making the final decision. So, we made the decision based on what we saw in training. We looked at the value of the players in terms of their current performances and their contribution to the team.

“If you look at the goalkeepers, we looked at those that have been active recently at club level. We have taken players who are ready to adapt to our new approach. I saw most of the matches locally and spoke to coaches and my technical panel and we came up with this squad and we look forward to make the country proud in the Afcon.”

The Flames will play in Group B alongside Guinea, Senegal, and Zimbabwe and they will start their campaign with a game against the Syli Nationale at Bafoussam Omnisport Stadium Kouekong on January 10.